24 June 2019 - 00:56
Journalist ID: 2013
News Code 83366806
1 Persons
Iran slams Europe's lack of political will

Tehran, June 24, IRNA- Iran lashed out at Europe on Sunday for “lack of political will to stand up against the US”, saying Tehran will continue to cut down on some of its commitments inside the 2015 nuclear deal. 

“We have been convinced that Europe’s not sticking to its commitments in the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) isn’t because it can’t but rather because it lacks political will,” said Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister for Legal and Political Affairs Abbas Araqchi following a meeting with Britain’s Middle East minister Andrew Murrison in Tehran on Sunday. 

“Europe isn’t prepared to pay meager cost of saving the JCPOA. European countries don’t dare to not abide by the US Treasury orders which means Europe lacks governance even inside its own borders,” added Araqchi. 

The senior Iranian official warned that his country will fulfill its word that it will reduce more of its commitments in the nuclear deal after the next two weeks. 

“Unfortunately, there is no balance between our duties and rights inside the JCPOA and so there is no reason for Iran to keep being committed to the JCPOA,” Araghchi noted.

“Iran’s decision to reduce its commitments in the JCPOA is a national and irreversible decision,” warned the deputy FM, stressing that “the Islamic Republic of Iran will stay on this path until its requests are met”. 

Back in May 8, Iranian President Hassan Rouhani announced several measures that reduce Tehran’s commitments to several points of the multilateral nuclear deal that was signed in 2015 and later ratified by the UNSC Resolution 2231 in 2016. 

Then, Tehran gave Europe 60 days to move to normalise economic relations despite the US sanctions. In case Germany, France and the UK as well as the European Union fail to carry out trade with the country, then it would roll out a second phase of reductions of its commitments. 

Europe has been struggling to carry out the first financial transaction through its channel called Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX), created late January. However, no trade exchanges have been realized so far although Iran has put in place a similar mechanism called Special Trade and Financing Instrument between Iran and Europe (STFI, also known as SATMA, in Persian). 

Murrison, a junior minister in the UK Foreign Office, reiterated that Britain is “keen” on making the INSTEX fully operational “the sooner, the better”. He then called on Iran to be fully committed to the JCPOA: 

Britain is one of the six foreign signatories to the 2015 deal with Iran that created INSTEX several months after the US pulled out of the nuclear agreement exactly May 8, 2018. 

Oil tanker attacks 
Araghchi slammed the British officials’ recent statements about alleged Iran’s role in attacks on several oil carriers in the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman. 

“It seems that the British government has become entangled in Brexit very hard that it has hindered its’ correct knowledge of the world realities,” mentioned Araghchi during the meeting in Tehran. 

He also warned the British official that such reactions and “unwise companion of the US in its bullying” will lead to “an increase in the Iranians’ historic hatred against the British policies”. 

UK’s debt to Iran 
Araghchi, who is a deputy to Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, also demanded that London pay out its historic debt to the “Iranian nation”. 

“The UK government’s refusal to do so isn’t accepted by any justification,” he warned. 

Britain owes Iran £450m over a botched arms deal before the 1979 Islamic Revolution when the former Shah of Iran paid £650m up front, rather than on delivery, for a large order of tanks: 1,500 Chieftain battle tanks and 250 repair vehicles in total.

After the Revolution, the new Iranian government asked for £450m of the £650m total back. Britain ignored the request, sold some of the tanks to Saddam Hussein (who promptly used them against Iran) and continued about its business.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe
Araghchi and Murrison also discussed the jail term for the dual national journalist Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe, charged with espionage. 

His British husband Richard Ratcliffe has been staging a strike in front of the Iranian Embassy in London to mount the pressure on Tehran to release her. 

The Iranian deputy FM told the British official that Iran’s Judiciary “will never be affected by such blackmail”, stressing that “those accused of espionage crimes must complete their jail terms”. 

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